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Opinion Number: CDR 3718/2017
Rapporteur: WOŹNIAK Marek
Commission: COTER
Status: Adopted
Date: 01/02/2018
 
This opinion aims at deepening the debate on different scenarios presented by the European Commission in the White Paper on the Future of Europe last March. In addition to the scenarios put forward in the Reflection Paper, the rapporteur also looks into the desired size of the next MFF, its flexibility provisions, multiple challenges it will have to face, as well as the concept of European Added Value.
The following overview summarizes main elements of the CoR opinion being translated into the Commission's proposal for the new MFF:

No need for special instruments outside the MFF: PARTLY ACCEPTED - special instruments outside MFF remain and separate budgets for the euro area need to be investigated;
Call for an increase in the GNI share and for more flexibility: ACCEPTED - increase in the GNI share, flexibility increased;
Call on the European Council to act by a qualified majority on the regulation laying down the MFF as foreseen in Art. 312, paragraph 2, sub-paragraph 2 of the TFEU: REJECTED - No qualified majority vote introduced yet;
Call for an increase of the MFF: REJECTED - in real terms, the MFF remains the same, although the GNI share increases;
Call for a simpler, more transparent budget: ACCEPTED - more transparent and more streamlined budget presented, although the figures (in 2018 prices) and their comparison with the current budget could have been clearer;
A succeeding strategy to the Europe 2020 needs to be presented: NOT ACCEPTED - no such strategy has been presented;
The definition of the European Added Value is appropriate; the need to present the EAV of cohesion Policy: ACCEPTED - the EAV for each programme is described in details in an annex to the main MFF Communication;
the need to include special instruments in the structure of the MFF: PARTLY ACCEPTED - the EDF is now part of the MFF;
the current EU budget is not large enough to enable it to exercise a stabilising effect, meaning that there is a need to make use of own resources to support the MFF: PARTLY ACCEPTED - a Stabilization instrument is introduced;
call on the Member States to consider increasing their contributions to the EU budget based on their level of revenue as measured by gross national income (GNI): REJECTED - GNI based income to decrease from 71% to 58%;
call for the future budget to be set at no less than 1.3% of the EU's GNI: REJECTED - only a share of 1,114% of the EU’s GNI is foreseen;
the creation of a crisis reserve for situations when a new task or an unforeseen crisis comes up, and a non-programmed reserve. It also suggests strengthening the special flexibility tools that currently exist: ACCEPTED
call for cohesion policy to continue to be prioritised under the future budget structure: REJECTED - Cohesion policy has suffered cuts, including a radical decrease in the Cohesion Fund envelope;
more should be spent on research and innovation: ACCEPTED
call for efforts to ensure a fair, sustainable and solidarity-based agricultural policy: REJECTED - CAP cuts, 2nd pillar reduced by more than 13%;
Preference for the 5th scenario: REJECTED - a mixed scenario between "carrying on" and "radical redesign" has been chosen, with more focus on status quo.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

 is convinced that the Reflection Paper's analysis demonstrates the need to change the governance rules applying to the MFF and the EU's financing system;

 calls for the future common financial framework to be larger so as to enable the EU to assume responsibility for fulfilling the goals in the treaties and new political priorities and the resulting duties;

 is concerned to note that the Reflection Paper – dedicated to issues that will be crucially important to Europe's structure in the coming years – does not underline the role of local and regional authorities;

 suggests to support a seven-year-period for the last time before adjusting it to the electoral cycle;

 welcomes the proposed concept of European added value, which relates to treaty-based commitments;

 notes that the "net balance" approach and protracted negotiations over each euro spent obscure real European added value;

 calls for the MFF to be harmonised and made more transparent; the Committee remains convinced, therefore, of the need to include special instruments in the structure of the MFF and to ensure synergies with the help of a single rule book;

 reiterates its call to introduce new sources for own resources in the form of a package combining different taxes;

 calls on the Member States to consider increasing their contributions to the EU budget based on their level of revenue as measured by gross national income (GNI);

 calls for the future budget to be set at no less than 1.3% of the EU's GNI, thus supporting the European Parliament's standpoint on this question;

- proposes the creation of a crisis reserve for situations when a new task or an unforeseen crisis comes up, and a non-programmed reserve. It also suggests strengthening the special flexibility tools that currently exist.
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